According to the National Eczema Association, more than 30 million Americans may suffer from eczema, sometimes known as atopic dermatitis. It is characterized by red, dry, itchy skin patches or a rash. It will often appear on the inside of the elbows or behind the knees. It may also appear at the wrists, neck, and ankles. The condition is usually initially diagnosed in babies or young children, where the rash may also appear on the cheeks, chin, scalp, chest, and back. Although many people may think that chiropractic care only deals with bones, joints, tendons, or ligaments. Dr. Nathen Horst believes that chiropractic adjustments can help with a whole host of other conditions, including eczema.
What Can Cause Eczema?
Although eczema has no known cause, researchers think that there are certain irritants that can trigger a flare up. These can include everything from common household cleaners, to dust, to pollen, to household pets, to certain molds. Stress may also trigger eczema symptoms to worsen. Food allergies may also show up as eczema, particularly in young children. There is also evidence that shows a link between eczema, asthma, and hay fever. As much as 80 percent of children with eczema will go on to develop asthma and/or hay fever.
What Are the Standard Treatments for Eczema?
Unfortunately, many patients report little success with either prescription or over the counter medications. Perhaps the best treatment is taking good care of the skin to prevent it from getting dry and itchy, which will then cause a flare up. Some recommendations include:
- Take lukewarm (not hot) baths
- Use a non-soap cleanser on the face and body
- Pat the body dry after a bath or shower, rather than rubbing
- Apply skin lotion just after a bath or shower to lock in the moisture
- Use a humidifier in very dry weather
- Moisturize every day
How Can Chiropractic Care Treat Eczema?
The theory behind chiropractic care is that many of the body’s functions are related to the spine because it is the main conduit that connects the central and peripheral nervous systems to the brain. If the vertebrae are out of alignment, this can affect signaling between the brain and the rest of the body. A misaligned spine can also put stress on the body, which can adversely affect the immune system. Because eczema is thought to be a stress response, it may be due to the spine not being in proper alignment.
Dr. Horst will realign the spine properly through a series of adjustments that gently move the vertebrae back into their natural position. This will then reduce the stress, thereby stopping an eczema flare up. Additionally, a thorough nutritional history may allow Dr. Horst to determine any food allergens. He can then recommend a diet to help patients avoid those particular food triggers.
There is no reason for patients to suffer from eczema. Dr. Horst can help them find a variety of safe, effective methods to reduce not just the duration and severity of eczema flare ups, but also the triggers that may cause the condition in the first place.